[George II orders the Treasury to pay the Army Paymaster half a million pounds in the same week as the Battle of Culloden.] Warrant, signed 'George R.'; with order signed by three Lords Commissioners: Lord Holland; Lord Lyttelton, Richard Arundell.

George II (1683-1760), King of Great Britain and Ireland; Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland (1705-1774); George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton (1709-1773); Richard Arundell (c.1696-1758)
Publication details: 
'Given at our Court at St. James's this 10th. day of April 1746 In the nineteenth Year of our Reign'.
SKU: 21804

An interesting document, in which George II directs the Commissioners of the Treasury to pay over half a million pounds to the soon-to-be-deceased Paymaster General of the Forces, Thomas Winnington (1696-1746). This astronomical sum was required for the maintenance of the British Army not only in the War of the Austrian Succession, but also in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The decisive Battle of Culloden would be fought six days after the date of the warrant, on 16 April 1746 (O.S.). The document is 1p, folio. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with a thin strip of paper from the mount adhering to the reverse. Folded twice. Firm signature of the king ('George R.'), slightly faded, in the usual position at top left of page. The warrant is written out ('By his Majesty's Command') in a secretarial hand and addressed 'To the Commissioners of our Treasury.' The text reads: 'Our Will and Pleasure is that by Virtue of our General Letters of Privy Seal bearing date the 26th. Day of June 1727, You Issue and Pay or Cause to be issued and paid out of any our Treasure or Revenue that is or shall be in the Receipt of our Exchequer Applicable to the uses and purposes hereaftermentioned unto our Right Trusty and Wellbeloved Councillour Thomas Winnington Esqr. Paymaster general of our Guards Guarisons, and Land Forces, or to his Assigns, any Sum or Sums of money not exceeding Five hundred Thousand Pounds, by way of Imprest and upon Account, for the Service of our said Guards, Guarisons, and Land Forces, or any other the Publick Services under his care of payment for the Year One thousand seven hundred and forty six, according to such Establishments and pursuant to such orders as are or shall be signed by us in that behalf. And for so doing this shall be your Warrant Given at our Court at St. James's this 10th. day of April 1746 In the nineteenth Year of our Reign'. At the foot of the page is the order for payment: 'Payma[ste]r. Forces – 500000£ Upon Acct. out of the Supplies for the Year 1746.' Above this, at the right-hand margin are the authorising signatures of three of the five Lords Commissioners of the Treasury: 'H Fox | R Arundell | G Lyttelton'. From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.